Objective: To achieve consensus regarding important clinical, translational, and health services research questions for the field of developmental-behavioral pediatrics (DBP).
Methods: Twenty-seven developmental-behavioral pediatricians, 16 psychologists, and 12 parents participated in a 3-round Delphi survey. Participation was 100% in Rounds I and III and 96% in Round II. In Round I, each participant suggested up to 10 research questions important for DBP in the next 5 years. In Round II, participants rated the importance of each unique question on a 9-point Likert scale. Questions were rated as consensus important questions if they had a median score of 7 and the 25th percentile was at least 6 or the coefficient of variation ≤30 (suggesting consensus). Questions were rated as potentially important if they had a median of 7, but a coefficient of variation >30 or if specific stakeholder group ratings suggested importance. After providing participants the Round II results, potentially important questions were rated a second time (Round III).
Results: In Round I, 216 unique research questions were identified. In Round II, 29 of these questions met the criteria for a consensus important question and 60 questions were rated as potentially important. In Round III, 10 additional questions were rated as consensus important questions. Of the 39 consensus important questions, 20 were efficacy or comparative effectiveness studies and 40% related to autism spectrum disorders.
Conclusions: This Delphi process identified a set of high priority clinical, translational, and health services research topics for DBP that can guide research to advance the field and improve care and outcomes for children with DBP conditions.